Defenders of Fortress Europe: The Untold Story of the German Officers during the Allied Invasion

Defenders of Fortress Europe: The Untold Story of the German Officers during the Allied Invasion

by Samuel Mitcham
     
 

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The year 1944 bore witness to the fifth long year of World War II. Death rained from the skies of Germany, her cities were ablaze or in rubble, the extermination camps operated with cold-blooded efficiency, and the Eastern Front’s guns roared day and night. Hardly a German family had not lost a loved one. Most terribly, the Russian Front’s floodgates

Overview


The year 1944 bore witness to the fifth long year of World War II. Death rained from the skies of Germany, her cities were ablaze or in rubble, the extermination camps operated with cold-blooded efficiency, and the Eastern Front’s guns roared day and night. Hardly a German family had not lost a loved one. Most terribly, the Russian Front’s floodgates creaked ominously. If they gave way, the Red Army would engulf the eastern marshlands—and perhaps the entire Fatherland—in a flood of barbarism not seen since the Dark Ages. Yet, as the Wehrmacht retreated, Germans still had hope. If the men of the Western Front could repulse the great invasion, dozens of units—including panzer divisions, SS regiments, and paratrooper formations—would arrive to thwart the Red advance. German scientists needed at least another year to develop their “wonder weapons,” such as V-2 rockets, submarines, jet airplanes, and perhaps even an atomic bomb. Everything depended on the Western Front’s warlords. Defenders of Fortress Europe introduces the men who had once believed they would conquer the world. By 1944, however, they were trying to throw the Allies back into the sea or just check them before they could reach Germany. The Fatherland’s defense was in the hands of Nazis, non-Nazis, and anti-Nazis; professional soldiers and professional troublemakers; heroes, murderers, and war criminals; the efficient geniuses and the incompetent; the famous, the infamous, and the unknown; soldiers, sailors, SS men, and air force officers—all men who fought out of fanaticism, courage, personal ambition, a sense of honor, duty, love of country, misplaced patriotism, or, simply, habit.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Defenders of Fortress Europe will be of value to any serious students of the campaign.”

Defenders of Fortress Europe is well crafted, informative, and very readable. . . . Mitcham not only clearly explains the major battles, but candidly assesses the performance of German commanders, such as the ‘tactical brilliance’ of Erich Straube and the ‘going to seed’ of Hugo Sperrle. His crisp writing brings to life these German officers who fought in the west and concludes by informing the reader what happened to them after the war (some lived well into their eighties and nineties!). Highly recommended; also has excellent maps and appendices.”

“In war it is important to know your enemy, which is valuable even in retrospect. This book practically puts the reader on a first-name basis with many famous and lesser-known German commanders and recounts their actions during and after the D-Day invasion. While many books provide information on the German field marshals and famous generals, such as Erwin Rommel, Defenders of Fortress Europe is an excellent reference on many other commanders and units that were important in World War II.”

“Samuel Mitcham provides a superbly researched account of the second-and third-level leaders of the German Army in 1944. I recommend Defenders of Fortress Europe to military professionals and to those interested in understanding the German army’s inner-workings during the final days of World War II.”

Gene Mueller

Defenders of Fortress Europe is well crafted, informative, and very readable. . . . Mitcham not only clearly explains the major battles, but candidly assesses the performance of German commanders, such as the ‘tactical brilliance’ of Erich Straube and the ‘going to seed’ of Hugo Sperrle. His crisp writing brings to life these German officers who fought in the west and concludes by informing the reader what happened to them after the war (some lived well into their eighties and nineties!). Highly recommended; also has excellent maps and appendices.”—Gene Mueller, professor of history, Texas A&M University at Texarkana
C. G. Sweeting

“In war it is important to know your enemy, which is valuable even in retrospect. This book practically puts the reader on a first-name basis with many famous and lesser-known German commanders and recounts their actions during and after the D-Day invasion. While many books provide information on the German field marshals and famous generals, such as Erwin Rommel, Defenders of Fortress Europe is an excellent reference on many other commanders and units that were important in World War II.”—C. G. Sweeting, author of Hitler’s Personal Pilot and Hitler’s Squadron
Military Review

“Samuel Mitcham provides a superbly researched account of the second-and third-level leaders of the German Army in 1944. I recommend Defenders of Fortress Europe to military professionals and to those interested in understanding the German army’s inner-workings during the final days of World War II.”—Military Review
NYMAS Review

Defenders of Fortress Europe will be of value to any serious students of the campaign.”—NYMAS Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597972741
Publisher:
Potomac Books
Publication date:
08/31/2009
Pages:
258
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

Samuel W. Mitcham Jr. is an internationally recognized authority on Nazi Germany and the Second World War and is the author of twenty books on the subject, including Panzers in Winter and Rommel’s Lieutenants. A former Army helicopter pilot and company commander, he is a graduate of the U.S. Army’s Command and General Staff College. He has appeared on the History Channel and National Public Radio, among other media outlets. He lives in Louisiana.

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